Wins for Sharks and ‘Mini Mantas’ at CITES

Words by Sarah Fowler
Daniel Fernando, adviser on the Sri Lankan delegation to CoP17
The commitment shown by CITES Parties across the world to list thresher sharks, silky sharks and mobula rays on Appendix II is highly encouraging. These actions will help ensure the sustainability of shark fisheries, which are vital for the livelihoods and food security of coastal communities around the world. Sri Lanka looks forward to working with neighbouring countries and the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission to develop regional NDFs for these species to continue sustainable trade from the Indian Ocean.
John E. Scanlon, Secretary-General of CITES
The most critical meeting in the 43-year history of CITES has delivered for the world’s wildlife. #CoP17 is a game changer for the planet’s most vulnerable wild animals and plants.
Abdulla Mohamed Didi, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Environment and Energy, Republic of Maldives
History was made at CITES CoP17 in Johannesburg when thresher sharks, silky shark and mobula rays were listed with an unprecedented majority. It is clear that there is global agreement to give these animals the protection they require. The listing of silky shark in Appendix II is a big success for our pole-and-line tuna fishermen, who believe that silky sharks play a major role in their fishery by keeping tuna schools together. These listings will promote sustainable fisheries and help shark stocks to recover across the whole Indian Ocean.
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